Trader Joe’s and The Tale of The Killer Tofu

Trader Joe’s.  It’s still a new magical place for us Southerners.  I was graced in its presence when I interned in LA for a semester and knew there was a cookie butter, jar-shaped hole in my heart when I came back to Texas.  But it didn’t occur to me how much I missed this place until the very moment I stepped foot through those automatic doors.  Yes – we all know the Speculoos cookie butter is UH-mazing and the Five Buck Chuck is UN-believable but they have so many different other things to offer (*Hint, hint Triple Ginger Snap Cookies) that make you want to do things like cook! It’s not completely overwhelming like most grocery stores in large Texas cities, the produce seems fresh and in great condition, and there are just so many nice pre-cut, pre-packaged offerings.  It kinda reminds me of a more affordable Marks and Spencer in that way.

Anyway, I went to Trader Joe’s on a whim because I felt like being semi-productive after having a horribly down week.  When I walk in, I immediately become so excited by discovering pre-cut butternut squash, ready-to-cook lamb rack, SHELLED EDAMAME BEANS?! I wanted to run in the middle of the crowd, throw my hands up in the air and spin in a circle proclaiming, “I LOVE YOU MAGICAL WAREHOUSE FULL OF FOOD I’VE OBVIOUSLY SEEN BEFORE BUT NEVER IN THIS BEAUTIFULLY PRE-PACKED AND READY TO GO WAY”. I decided against it, went through the whole place in 15 min and checked out with a couple items I thought I could make into an acceptable meal.  I came home, unpacked my gatherings and decided to cook this Honey Glazed Tofu.  I mean because who doesn’t run into a store, grab some tofu and think, “why not add some more bean curd into my life?”  Cue Doug’s, Killer Tofu.

For starters, what everyone knows about me is that I don’t cook very often and when I do, it can be questionable. I mean, I literally set off the smoke alarm the day before trying to cook eggs. EGGS. The simplest thing in the book.  I do, however, would love to become a better cook, I just need time to practice. So, me, edging on to the big 2-6 in a week, thought I should step up my cooking game and just go for it.  I was feeling very good about myself that day.  But, to make a long story short, I’ll add some pictures and show the final product, which was pretty good if I say so myself.

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Yummm, bean curd.                           Sweet and Spicy marinade!             Looks legit, yeah?

 

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Voila! Honey Glazed Tofu and then I threw some Kale into the mix because I’m a kale nazi and need it in everything.  Kale yeah.

The only thing I modified besides throwing in the kale at the end in to saute with the tofu, is that I didn’t use all the marinade because I was afraid it would make it too salty.  I usually am one to follow recipes to a T (which has never really worked well in my favor) but sometimes I like to pretend I’m some badass chef who says, “Eff the rules!” and goes rogue.  As rogue as you can get with kale.  Turned out to be a good choice on my part.  So as we move forward: Smoke alarm – 1, Lisa – 1.  Now I deserve to devour my ginger snaps in one sitting..or maybe two if we’re being wary about my figure 😉

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4:18AM – Time Management

You would think that I would get the hang of this now. This time management thing, at the age of 26. After years of torturing myself with all-nighters during university and finding no real benefit on my part, you would think that I would have taken what I’ve learned and made the conscious effort to move past this habit.  I’ve done so with other habits that I’ve found had no real value to me, for example, eating less fast food, drinking less, becoming more physically active, etc. And it’s also not because I think twenty-somethings should know how to manage their time perfectly but because I’ve dealt with it for so long! Procrastination has been my enemy since day one.  I remember it like it was yesterday.  I was in the fifth grade and that day, we had a reading assignment due for The Phantom Tollbooth. (Great book, btw)  This was one of those assignments that required you to read a book in about 10 sections and write a thoughtful entry afterwards. I remember that I did the reading portion but I always put off the writing part.  You see, I’ve never been one to be consistent with keeping up a journal or notebook or blog in this case. No surprise now, but it was horrifying then, as a ten-year old, scrambling to get a month’s worth of writing down in 30 minutes. This was the first notable feeling of anxiousness and panic that I can recall which is why I probably remember this moment so well.  I hadn’t brushed my teeth and let’s forget about the hair – apologies to those children to had to encounter my gnarly breath and tangled bird’s nest hair that morning. At the same time, I was also trying to hide this from my parents. Anyway, long story short, I finished in the nick of time and managed to make a B. I’ve been procrastinating ever since and the rest is history..and that history is filled with all kinds of time management issues which become associated with other issues. It’s just so frustrating for me because in my mind I would LOVE to be that person who is on top of their shit and can be a normal person who goes to bed at 11pm, wakes up at 7am, gets to work early, work, go home, eat, and maybe read a good book before bed.  And when I say “normal” I mean I want to be a grandma. But who really has their shit together? Recently, I’ve had this talk with a couple friends where so many people put on this semblance of leading a normal, balanced, exciting life when in reality, no one knows what’s going on. Thanks to social media, we are plagued with images of peoples’ picture perfect lives, when it really is just one moment in time, one millisecond frozen to capture what we think is perfect. I can say I’m guilty of that, but we all are. Anyway, I digress (someone needs sleep). With work being full blast until we reach the conference in March, I find myself adapting to the weirdest eating schedule and sleeping patterns, hence the 4am spontaneous blogpost. I don’t know if I’ll ever figure out this time management problem of mine, but I can keep trying. So for now, it’s NO SLEEP TIL SOUTHBY.